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US: Amazon wins big data with Whole Foods buy

 |  June 21, 2017

Last week, Amazon announced its intended fourth quarter acquisition of Whole Foods Markets for $42 per share in cash. The $13.7 billion acquisition is being hailed as Amazon’s big play to enter physical store retail. Whole Foods offers Amazon the opportunity to experiment with retail analytics, customer traffic management and in-store preference-matching. It’ll be a testing ground for the unexplored science of “presence marketing,” the layering online and offline buying analytics while tracking customers’ movements while they shop.

In 2012, Amazon filed a patent for something called “Physical Store Online Shopping Control” and that patent was awarded last week, just days before Amazon announced it was buying Whole Foods. Although the patent permits Amazon to limit searches on competitive websites while in a physical store, it also allows for the capturing of the customer’s location and the collection of customer data while inside a store.

You’ll never be alone in the store again. Big data will be right there with you. If connected to the store’s WiFi, Amazon.com will be able to capture visitor data as you walk the aisles.

Retail presence analytics needs a continuous flow of data so that a big data application can identify meaningful patterns. Following how often we shop, in which neighborhood, what we buy, how we navigate the aisles and which services we use will be similar to how Amazon traces your visits to Amazon.com. It tracks frequency, categories, brands, navigation patterns or even propensity to buy the extended warranty then offers lots of suggestions based on its analytics engine. With Whole Foods, Amazon can now have an offline brick-and-mortar network rich with analytics about what we buy and how we shop.

Full Content: Entrepeneur

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